POL 213  21st-Century Politics

 

text:  Neal Riemer,  Douglas W. Simon, and Joseph Romance, The Challenge of Politics (Wash., D.C.:  CQ Press, current or used edition).  You will update with clippings.

The New York Times daily, The Economist weekly, National Geographic monthly, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy every other month are recommended print sources.  The CIA World Factbook is accessible on line.  Each chapter in the text contains scholarly references.

Course Description (see also Catalog)

How do humans as individuals and in groups conceptualize about and plan for the future and how do they exercise choice are analyzed in democratic and other systems with reference to what is (empirical status quo), what ought to be (normative values), and what can be (policy contingencies).  States as organizational units in world affairs are scrutinized vis-à-vis “habits of politics” such as Entity Game, Lion and Fox, Strike, Wipe-Out, Civil Disobedience.  Vital interests are examined—unity, independence, security, power, prosperity, freedom—and analyzed as requiring or permitting survival, economics, and humanitarian policies.

This is a writing-enhanced  course.  Like other POL courses, writing is used to help students learn course content and improve their communications and career–related verbal skills.  In a writing-enhanced course, focus, organization, development, and editing all are considered in grading, as well as content.  Assignments have detailed writing expectations, shown in rubrics.  Portions of assignments are to be written in class, in consultation with peers.  WEC includes peer review.  Revision will use feedback on each assignment to improve the quality of the next one.

Sample Semester-length Version

Week 

Topic/Text

Project

Week 1

Paradigm Shift, Future Shock, Systembreak

 

Ch 20 Challenging Future of Pol & Pol Sci

assign #1

Week 2

1 Wipe-Out, Lion & Fox, Strike, Civil Disobed

 

"Chaos"

 

Week 3

2 Politics and Choice

Project #1 due

3 Tasks and Controversies

 

Week 4

4 Physical, Social, Cultural Environment

return, review #1, revise & assign #2

5 The Good Life

 

Week 5

6 Liberal Democracy

 

7 Communism

 

Week 6

8 Democratic Socialism

 

9 Alternative Ideologies & Philosophies

 

Week 7

10 Scientific Enterprise

Project #2 due

—technological and academic

 

Week 8

11 Political Values of Political Actors

return, review #2, revise & assign #3

12 National Constitutions…

Withdraw without permission

Week 9

13 National Institutions

 

14 International Politics and…

 

Week 10

…the Global Community

Project #3 due

 

Withdraw with permission

Week 11

15 Decision-Making

return, review #3, revise & assign #4

20 review Challenging Future of Pol & Pol Sci

 

Week 12

16 War and Peace

 

17 Least Free

 

Week 13

18 Economic Well-Being

 

19 Ecological Health

Project #4 due

TBA

Final Meeting

Receive &/or do #4

Grading of written work counts three (3) items equally.  Projects are due on dates indicated and are unacceptable after graded papers are returned.  Assessments (otherwise known as spot checks or exams) are to be done during class..  Due to cumulative effect of projects, doing all four (4) is strongly recommended.  If all four (4) items are done, the lowest grade is omitted from computation.  However, emergencies do occur, so one item can be skipped entirely without penalty.  That is the extent of any “extra credit.”  A reduction is taken per missing item fewer than four.  The professor will avoid giving Incompletes.

Sample Intensive Weekend Schedule

Sat

Topic/Text

Project

Week 1

Paradigm Shift, Future Shock, Systembreak

Cronkite Remembers

Ch 20 Challenging Future of Pol & Pol Sci

Secrets of the Psychics

1 Wipe-Out, Lion & Fox, Strike, Civil Disobed

choose state; define terms as class

Week 2

"Chaos"

Chaos

2 Politics and Choice

 

3 Tasks and Controversies

 

4 Physical, Social, Cultural Environment

bring state definition, sources

Week 3

5 The Good Life

 

6 Liberal Democracy

Marshall Plan

7 Communism

 

8 Democratic Socialism

 

9 Alternative Ideologies & Philosophies

History of the Future—Technology

10 Scientific Enterprise

standardize methodology, captions

Week 4

11 Political Values of Political Actors

Beats

12 National Constitutions…

bring parts + state timetable

Week 5

13 National Institutions

Malaysia 20-20

14 International Politics & Global Community…

History of the Future—Global Village 20-20

Week 6

15 Decision-Making

Thailand Singapore

16 War and Peace

foregoing + conjecture, conclusion

Week 7

17 Least Free

History of the Future—Environment

18 Economic Well-Being

Medicine  Nanotechnology

19 Ecological Health

integrate all papers in class report

Grading of written work counts four (4) items equally.  Projects are due on dates indicated and are unacceptable after graded papers are returned.  In-class work (otherwise known as quizzes, spot checks, or exams) is to be written on-the-spot.  Because the projects are cumulative, doing all five (5) is strongly recommended.  If all five (5) items are done, the lowest grade is omitted from computation.  However, emergencies do occur, so one item can be skipped entirely without penalty.  That is the extent of any “extra credit.”  A reduction is taken per missing item fewer than four.  The professor will avoid giving Incompletes.

Remember that class participation is weighed qualitatively and can subtract as well as add.  Attendance also might be weighed, not just counted.  These are judgments professors have the duty to make.

What do you want them to know?

Vital interests—unity, power, security, independence, prosperity, freedom—in politics of Lion-and Fox, Strike, Wipe-Out, and Civil Disobedience + Entities.  Blend undergraduate classroom study with analyses, speculations, and prophecies published in intellectual best-seller journals and monographs to know what opinion leaders and policy makers are being advised by their consultants in aid of “knowing enough about everything” and thinking ahead.  Survival interests, economic interests, and humanitarian interests are to be differentiated.  “Commons” dilemmas are to be correlated with alternative attitudes and practices on freedom, standard of living, and environment are to be analyzed.

 What do you want them to do?

Utilize text and library reference materials.  Become facile with print (not just on-line) sources and to be critical of reliability.  Use newspapers (and news weeklies, monthlies) of record—e.g., The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, World Press Review.  Cite accurately in standard form.  The Futurist is to be read monthly.

Consult Foreign Affairs, Daedalus, (e.g., The Next Generation:  Work in Progress, Spring 1999), P.S., Complexity (Wiley) and such quality periodicals.

What habits of mind are they to form?

Neal Reimer uses the threefold analytical scheme throughout the text:

 

what is

what ought to be

what can be

 

 

empirical

normative

prudential

 

 

observation

value judgment

contingent

 

 

information

definition

prescriptions

 

 

induction

deduction

abduction

 

 

proposition

principle

policy

 

 How will you know?

Identifying information will be sufficient to assure correct delivery and attribution.
Title
will follow assignment.
Hypothesis
will be asserted positively and declaratively as a statement of covariation.
Definitions
will be drawn expressly from hypothesis, will be differentiated hierarchically, if numerous, and placed accordingly within paper.  All definitions will be expressed functionally for the scholarly/scientific field of study—depending on disciplinary texts, glossaries, and lexicons in preference to general dictionaries.
Scope
will express broad-scale, general-range in all-encompassing perspective.
Limits
will state narrowed focus of specific project.
Methodology
will explain strictly technical procedures of analysis and presentation.
Presentation
will be fully consistent within foregoing and will prefigure contents of subsequent sections.  Tabular synopsis will be used to array evidence in short paper and will be guide to contents in long paper.  Generating scenarios will be systematic, with several devices for doing so.
Comments
will be used if subjective or editorial remarks are important.  Editorializing, digressions, eureka moments, suggestions for further research will be placed here.
Conclusion
will refer to status of hypothesis.
Sources will be fully and traceably cited, whether footnotes or bibliography.

Selected Sources

Single case and narrow-gauge sources—about particular states, specific events, exemplary persons or groups—will be for students respectively to compile for their individually assigned countries.  CIA World Factbook, Europa yearbooks, U. S. Dept. of State country studies, area handbooks, and Background Notes on the countries of the world are helpful and reliable.

Bell, Daniel, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society:  A Venture in Social Forecasting (New York: Basic Books, 1973).
Bell, Daniel, ed., Toward the Year 2000:  Work in Progress (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969).
Brown, Lester R., World Without Borders (New York: Random House, 1972).
Brown, Lester R., Christopher Flavin, Hilary French et al, State of the World, 2001:  A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society (New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.  Annual report 1984 to date.
Clark, Mary E., Ariadne’s Thread:  The Search for New Modes of Thinking (New York: St. Martin’s, 1989)
.
Clarke, Arthur C., Profiles of the Future (rev. ed.; New York: Harper and Row, 1973).
Cornish, Edward, The Study of the Future:  An Introduction to the Art and Science of Understanding and Shaping Tomorrow’s World (Washington, DC: World Future Society, 1977).
De Jouvenel, Bertrand, The Art of Conjecture  (New York: Basic Books, 1967).
Dickson, Paul, Think Tanks (New York: Atheneum, 1971).
Didsbury, Howard F., Jr., ed., Student Handbook for The Study of the Future (Washington, DC: World Future Society, 1979).
Dubos, René, So Human an Animal (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1968).
Falk, Richard A., A Study of Future Worlds (New York: Free Press, 1975).
Ferkiss, Victor, The Future of Technological Civilization (New York: George Braziller, 1971).
Forrester, Jay W., World Dynamics (Cambridge, MA: Wright-Allen Press, 1971).
Fuller, R. Buckminster, and Robert Marks, The Dymaxion World of Buckminster Fuller (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1960; New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1973).
Gleick, James, Chaos:  Making a New Science (New York: Penguin, 1987).
Harman, Willis W., Global Mind Change:  The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think (New York: Warner Books, 1988).
Kahn, Herman, and Anthony J. Weiner, The Year 2000:  A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-three Years (New York: Macmillan, 1967).
Kahn, Herman, William Brown, and Leon Martel, The Next 200 Years:  A Scenario for America and the World (New York: William Morrow, 1976).
Lock Land, George T., Grow or Die:  The Unifying Principle of Transformation (New York: Delta, 1974).
Meadows, Donella H., Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and William W. Behrens, III, The Limits to Growth:  The Club of Rome Study of World Trends (New York: Universe Books, 1972).
Mesarovic, Mihajlo, and Eduard Pestel, Mankind at the Turning Point:  The Second Report to the Club of Rome (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1974).
Seidenberg, Roderick, Post-Historic Man:  An Inquiry (Univ. N. Carolina, 1950; Boston: Beacon, 1957).
Somit, Albert (ed.), Political Science and the Study of the Future (Hinsdale, IL: Dryden Press, 1974).
Thompson, William Irwin, At the Edge of Tomorrow (New York: Harper Torch, 1973).
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre, The Future of Man (New York: Harper Torch, 1964).
Toffler, Alvin, Future Shock (New York: Random House, 1970).

Semester Planning in POL 213 calls for thinking ahead and getting ahead of the game.  Time management is crucial in this course!  Put next things first